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Wednesday, 7 March, 2001, 18:58 GMT
Bosnian Croat president fired
Ante Jelavic (left) and Ante Pasalic salute the Croat anthem at Saturday convention
Mr Jelavic (left) backed the self-rule plan on Saturday
The Croat member of Bosnia's three-man presidency has been sacked, only days after announcing plans for Croat self-rule.

Ante Jelavic was fired by the international community's top official in Bosnia, Wolfgang Petritsch.

Mr Jelavic's political party, the Croat nationalist HDZ, announced plans at a convention on Saturday to break out of the post-war federation with Bosnia's Muslims, in a row over new election rules.

Croat hardliners believe the new rules weaken their power base, boosting multi-ethnic parties at the expense of nationalists.

Rally outside the convention building
Croat supporters staged a rally as the self-rule decision was taken
Mr Jelavic gave the international community an ultimatum - to change the rules within 15 days, or face a Croat breakaway.

Mr Jelavic's sacking had been expected since the declaration, and he said earlier on Wednesday he would be "honoured" if Mr Petritsch fired him.

Bosnia's political structures were set up in the 1995 Dayton peace accord, which ended the country's ethnic war and established a state comprised of a Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat federation.

Electorate's will

One representative from each of the three communities makes up the three-way presidency from which Mr Jelavic has now been fired.

Mr Jelavic told Saturday's political convention that Bosnia's ruling 14-party Alliance for Change did not respect the will of the Croat electorate.

Delegates decided to set up an inter-regional council made up of representatives from areas with a Croat majority.

It would have a president, government and parliament, and be based in Mostar.

The authority of Bosnia's central institutions and of the Muslim-Croat Federation would not be recognised in those areas.

See also:

22 Feb 01 | Europe
Bosnia forms new government
21 Nov 00 | Europe
Ghosts of Bosnia's war live on
21 Nov 00 | Europe
Dayton five years on
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